ALBANY, Ga. — With food costs on the rise, consumers are looking for meals and recipes that stretch their dollar. According to The Peanut Institute, peanuts and peanut butter are some of the most affordable, nutrient-dense sources of protein available.
A one-ounce serving of peanuts, which is about a handful, costs about 15 cents, delivers seven grams of plant-based protein plus 19 vitamins and minerals, heart-healthy fats and fiber.
“Research has shown that substituting plant protein for animal-based protein can help add years to your life1,” says Dr. Samara Sterling, a nutrition scientist and research director for The Peanut Institute. “Making smart food choices each and every day adds up to a healthy lifestyle that’s beneficial for you and your family.”
Since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, peanuts and peanut butter deliver both short-term and long-term benefits that can have a positive impact on every stage of life.
• Healthy development in children of the brain, bones, muscles and immune system. Peanuts also contain arginine, which is an amino acid associated with higher growth velocity.2
• Healthy weight management in adults by delivering greater hunger satisfaction. A recent study found that participants who snacked on peanuts and peanut butter tended to consume fewer calories than those who ate other nuts, including almonds.3
• Protection against certain cancers with antioxidants and phytosterols that have been shown to be beneficial against brain, skin, stomach, colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers.
• Keeping minds sharp during aging thanks to compounds that increase brain blood flow, protect against Alzheimer’s disease and even fight anxiety and depression. Niacin in particular is associated with a reduced rate of cognitive decline.4
Good for the body and better for the planet
While the health benefits for peanuts stack up, they’re also earth friendly.
Since peanuts are technically legumes, they’re easier to grow and harvest than pricier tree nuts.
• Peanuts require less water than tree nuts.5 Compared to almonds, peanuts need less than half the water to grow. (2,782 vs. 8,000 cubic meters per in-shell ton)
• Peanuts enrich the soil with nitrogen to make the land more fertile. They produce 90% of their own nitrogen, which means they help create a more sustainable world.
• Peanuts produce fewer greenhouse gasses. Peanut butter produces just 2.9 units of CO2 emissions, which is less than half that of eggs (4.8 units) and less than a quarter of cheese (13.5 units).
Those stats, combined with the long shelf life of peanuts and peanut butter, equal a convenient, sustainable, cost-efficient food that’s great to keep on-hand.
For recipes that cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks, visit PeanutInstitute.com. The Peanut Institute also shares research updates and meal ideas on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Based in Albany, Ga., The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization supporting nutrition research and developing educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles that include peanuts and peanut products. The Peanut Institute pursues its mission through research programs, educational initiatives and the promotion of healthful lifestyles to consumers of all ages. As an independent forum, The Peanut Institute is uniquely positioned to work with all segments of the food industry, the research community, academia, consumer organizations and governmental institutions.
1. Huang J, Liao LM, Weinstein SJ, Sinha R, Graubard BI, Albanes D. Association Between Plant and Animal Protein Intake and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2020 Sep 1;180(9):1173-1184. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2790. PMID: 32658243; PMCID: PMC7358979.
2. van Vught, A.J.A.H., et al., Dietary arginine and linear growth: the Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 2013. 109(6): p. 1031-1039.2. Kennedy D. O. (2016).
3. Cassandra Jay Nikodijevic, Yasmine C. Probst, Sze-Yen Tan, Elizabeth P. Neale, The Effects of Tree Nut and Peanut Consumption on Energy Compensation and Energy Expenditure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Advances in Nutrition, 2022,
ISSN 2161-8313, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advnut.2022.10.006.
4. Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias JL, Scherr PA, Tangney CC, Hebert LE, Bennett DA, Wilson RS, Aggarwal N. Dietary niacin and the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and of cognitive decline. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;75(8):1093-9. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2003.025858. PubMed PMID: 15258207; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1739176.
5. “The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products.” M.M. Mekonnen and A.Y. Hoekstra. UNESCO Institute for Water Education, December 2010. http://wfn.project-platforms.com/Reports/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol1.pdf.
–The Peanut Institute